High flying tree lighting

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Technicolor tree: The decorated tree is filled with brightly colored bulbs and lights.
Seasonal tips and tricks: Tristan Rodriguez learns a magic trick from a clown on Santa’s “Nice List.”
Christmas caroling: The Brooklyn Heights School of the Arts choir performs at the tree lighting.
Flying frenzy: Jennifer Hernandez gets into the holiday spirit by practicing her soaring skills with a flight simulator that was on display at the lighting.
Pilot-in-training: Joshua Luxama practices his pilot technique in a flight simulator.

Canarsie residents are soaring into the holiday spirit!

The tree-lighting ceremony at Gateway Center North added a special attraction beyond festive decorations and holiday tunes — a flight simulator.

Visitors could take the realistic controls in the virtual cockpit and get a sense of how Santa might feel soaring through the sky delivering presents — that is, if the jolly old elf flew a modern airplane rather than magic sleigh.

When the pilots-in-training wanted to take a break from their flying lessons, they could greet Santa Claus — who donned his standard fur-lined red suit to the ceremony — or watch live holiday performances.

The performances included festive tunes from the Brooklyn High School of the Arts choir and magic tricks from a colorful clown.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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